READ : Acts 19-20
When the New Testament mentions Asia, it does not mean the continent. It means a small province in the western end of what is now Turkey. Ephesus was the major commercial city of that province, the kind of place Paul liked to work, knowing that the gospel would spread from there to many other places. We should seek the leading of the Spirit to fashion the best possible missionary strategy. Words of Hope is doing just that. Based on careful research we are sharing the gospel with many thousands of people each week in Turkey, in the very same places where Paul preached two thousand years ago.
Paul had a productive ministry in Ephesus. “The word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily” (19:20). The work was so successful it hurt the local idol-making business. The nerve to the pocketbook is most sensitive, so the idol makers brought charges against Paul, causing a riot. Paul left Ephesus, but later had a meeting with the elders of Ephesus, telling them how they should conduct their ministry. According to the New Testament, the elder is the office upon which the government of the church is structured. Elders today ought to listen carefully to the word of Paul: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church” (20:28).
Father, we pray for the lay leaders of congregations that they may be examples of godliness. In Jesus' name. Amen.